Ahlin: Cost of weak helmet laws counted in money and pain
News from In-Forum:

The physician with the beat-up motorcycle helmet in his hand was a pathology resident at the university, a doctor who moonlighted in a hospital emergency room to make extra money while completing his training. At the time, I happened to be in the Medical Technology program at the same university, rotating through the labs overseen by the Pathology Department. The helmet – so dented and distorted that its shape was cartoon-like – belonged to a university student who had ended up in the ER the night before after his motorcycle collided with a car.

“Without a helmet, this would have been his head,” the physician said, insisting we each take the helmet in our hands and look it over. Instead, the student had a few broken bones but would be fine.

Perhaps it goes without saying that the physician – a man who rode a motorcycle to work every day – was an advocate for mandatory helmet laws. But maybe not – at least not in today’s political climate. Back…………… continues on In-Forum

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CDC: Motorcycle Helmet Laws Reduce Deaths
News from LEX18 Lexington KY News:

ATLANTA (AP) – Fewer motorcyclists die in states that require helmets, and the costs to society are lower too, according to a new federal study released Thursday.

About five times as many no-helmet biker deaths occur in states with less restrictive laws, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found.

“These laws save lives,” said Rebecca Naumann, an epidemiologist and the study’s lead author.

CDC researchers looked at a government tally of fatal traffic crashes. They focused on 2008 through 2010 and counted 14,283 deaths of motorcyclists.

That included 6,057 bikers with no helmet. Only about 12 percent of those deaths occurred in the 20 states that required everyone on motorbikes to wear helmets.

The researchers also made 2010 cost calculations based on medical expenses and lost work productivity from motorcycle deaths and injuries.

“In 2010, more than $ 3 billion in economic costs were saved due to helmet use in the United States,” CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement. “Another $ 1.4 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.”

In states that mandate helmets, more is saved per registered bike than in states with fewer or no restrictions, $ 725 versus $ 200, researchers estimated. When the study was done, three states – Illinois, Iowa and New Hampshire – had no helmet law and an…………… continues on LEX18 Lexington KY News

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